Updates by date
April 27, 2023: New opportunities for tourism and hospitality workers
Alberta’s tourism and hospitality sector was hit hard by COVID-19 and continues to face labour shortages that are affecting industry recovery and growth. To support the industry's employers, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program is developing a new tourism and hospitality immigration stream. This stream is expected to provide a dedicated and faster option to permanent residence for newcomers working in the industry.
The Alberta government is working to design the new stream. More details will be available in the coming months. This stream will complement Alberta Express Entry Stream selections in 2023 based on priority sectors.
April 3, 2023: Changes to make it easier for in-demand workers and entrepreneurs to become permanent residents
- Dedicated Healthcare Pathway
- This pathway operates under the Alberta Express Entry Stream, and will use up to 30% of available Express Entry allocations in 2023.
- Physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, physician assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and clinical social workers are eligible.
- Eligible healthcare professionals must have an Alberta job offer with an employer in the healthcare sector in Alberta, and must have verifiable proof of meeting the minimal requirements prescribed by the applicable regulatory organization to be able to practice in Alberta.
- AAIP Rural Entrepreneur Stream – Minimum Investment Criteria
- Minimum investment required by applicants has been reduced from $200,000 to $100,000, which is more comparable and competitive with other entrepreneur streams.
- AAIP Rural Renewal Stream – Removal of Settlement Organization Endorsement Letter in Community Designation Application Process
- This removal streamlines the community designation application process.
- Communities are still required to complete a settlement plan as part of the designation application process to demonstrate adequate supports are in place to effectively welcome newcomers.
- Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)
- The AAIP will now participate in the EMPP.
- The EMPP was developed to help refugees with the skills and qualifications needed in Canada immigrate through existing economic programs.
- The AAIP is working with the federal government to implement the pilot and supplement its annual nominations through this unique opportunity.
- More details on implementation will be available in the coming months.
- AAIP phone line
- A new phone number is now available to offer an additional option to contact the AAIP. Phone: 780-644-7534
- AAIP staff will respond to program inquires and provide clarity on processes for clients.
- This compliments the existing comprehensive suite of AAIP information and contact forms available online, including the self-serve application portal which guides and updates applicants interactively.
- Dedicated Healthcare Pathway
January 18, 2023: Alberta Express Entry Selections Based on High Demand Occupations and Family Relatives
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program continues to help employers meet their workforce needs by nominating individuals whose occupation is in high demand and who have a parent, child or sibling who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Alberta. Having immediate relatives in Alberta provides these newcomers with the added benefit of a ready-made support system, which sets them up for success in their employment and lives in Alberta.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sets the limits for nominations the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program can issue each year. IRCC provided 6,500 nomination certificates to Alberta for 2022, all of which were issued. A portion of the annually allocated nomination certificates are available to Alberta to use specifically for the Alberta Express Entry Stream, which includes the Accelerated Tech Pathway. The Alberta Express Entry Stream operates based on available profile information in the federal Express Entry portal.
This year, a portion of Alberta Express Entry Stream draws will use the combination of high-demand occupations and immediate family ties as selection factors when completing draws from the federal Express Entry pool and inviting them to submit a completed application. This change may increase the likelihood for selection and receipt of a Notification of Interest letter under the Alberta Express Entry Stream, depending on a candidate’s primary occupation and family connection to Alberta. Candidates cannot apply to the Alberta Express Entry Stream without receiving a Notification of Interest letter from the program.
There is no change to eligibility criteria in any stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. This is solely an adjustment to the category-based selection factors used by the program that increase a candidate’s chances of receiving a Notification of Interest letter under the Alberta Express Entry Stream.
There is no guarantee a Notification of Interest letter will be issued if selection factors are met. Notification of Interest letters and requests to apply are affected by the volume of potential candidates meeting these requirements, the type (occupation or sector) of submissions in processing queues, provincial economic immigration priorities and the number of available nominations.
Information on Alberta Express Entry Stream Notification of Interest selection factors is included on the Eligibility page.
November 16, 2022: National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 changes
Summary of changes
On November 16, 2022, the federal government updated the National Occupational Classification (NOC):
- The NOC 2016 skill type and skill level structure (NOC 0, A, B, C and D) has been replaced with a NOC 2021 6-category system representing the training, education, experience and responsibilities (TEER) needed to work in an occupation.
- 4-digit NOC codes are now 5-digit codes.
- Some occupations have been split into new NOC codes or merged into a NOC code.
- Some occupations have changed to a different TEER category compared to their old skill level. The eligibility cut-off for Express Entry is TEER 3 (equivalent to Skill Level B). Sixteen new occupations are now eligible for the Federal Skilled Workers Program and Canadian Experience Class and three occupations are no longer eligible.
Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for information on NOC 2021.
Impact on Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) candidates
As of November 16, 2022, AAIP worker stream requirements reflect the NOC 2021:
- AAIP language requirements are now based on TEER. This means that the minimum language requirements have increased in sixteen occupations and decreased in three occupations.
- Ineligible and eligible occupations lists have been updated with new NOC codes.
- Wage requirements for religious workers have been updated with new NOC codes.
- Rural Renewal Stream work experience requirements are now based on TEER.
- General Express Entry Stream occupation eligibility has changed for 19 occupations.
All other selection requirements remain unchanged.
If you apply on or after November 16, 2022, you must use the NOC 2021. To understand how you may be affected by these changes:
- Use IRCC’s Find your NOC tool to find your occupation and TEER Category using the NOC 2021.
- Review the Eligibility, How to Apply and After you are nominated pages for each AAIP worker stream.
If you applied on or before November 15, 2022, you will be assessed using the NOC 2016:
- Summaries of the NOC 2016 version of selection requirements are available on the Eligibility page for each stream.
- Nomination certificates, nomination extensions and 204(c) Letters of Support will be issued using the NOC 2016. For more information, review the How to Apply and After you are nominated pages for each stream.
Submitting a new application
AAIP cancelled all applications with an unpaid application fee that were not submitted in the AAIP portal as of 4 pm (Mountain Standard Time) on November 15, 2022. New applications must be completed. You can confirm the status of your AAIP application in the Check Existing Application section of the AAIP portal.
Alberta Express Entry Stream candidates must update their NOC information in their Express Entry profile to remain eligible for selection and nomination by the AAIP.
Accelerated Tech Pathway candidates who received an email inviting them to apply to the AAIP on or after October 15, 2022, will receive a new email by November 22, 2022, inviting them to create a new application.
September 28, 2022: Religious workers eligible for AAIP
As of September 28, 2022, religious workers and clergy with an Alberta job offer from an Alberta-based faith organization are eligible to apply under all 3 of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program’s worker streams: the Alberta Opportunity Stream, Rural Renewal Stream and the Alberta Express Entry Stream. Candidates must meet all eligibility requirements to apply. Meal and lodging deductions that meet Employment Standards are permitted for these occupations with proof of employee authorization of deductions required, where applicable. Review the eligibility page of each stream for detailed requirements.
Read the full announcement.
May 1, 2022: Refusal to process list removed
As of May 1, 2022, the Alberta government lifted restrictions on hiring new temporary foreign workers to help employers meet their workforce needs. The Alberta government removed all occupations on the ‘refusal to process’ list, which had been created to prioritize jobs for unemployed Albertans due to the pandemic.
This supports sectors of Alberta’s economy that are experiencing labour shortages and struggling to fill available positions with Canadian workers.
This change may increase the likelihood for selection and receipt of a Notification of Interest letter under the Alberta Express Entry Stream. There is no change to Alberta Opportunity Stream eligibility. The refusal to process list has not applied to Alberta Opportunity Stream eligibility criteria since October 31, 2020.
AAIP has removed all references to the refusal to process list from the AAIP website.
March 4, 2022: Responding to the crisis in Ukraine
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, temporary processing measures are now in place to assist Ukrainian nationals who apply to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). These measures will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The following temporary processing measures apply to Ukrainians by birth and citizenship:
- Applications and requests for post-decision services are being priority processed.
- Application fees and request for post-decision service fees will be reimbursed to all candidates and nominees who apply to the program or who make a request for post-decision services on or after February 24, 2022.
- New candidates must continue to have valid language results and an Educational Credential Assessment (if applicable) to submit an application. Candidates who are missing any other required documents due to the conflict in the Ukraine may submit an incomplete application if they still meet all selection criteria for their AAIP stream. Candidates who submit an incomplete application must:
- upload a written explanation into the portal that explains why the document(s) cannot be acquired, and
- provide evidence that they have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization responsible for issuing the document, or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to conflict in Ukraine.
- If a current candidate or nominee cannot provide documents due to the conflict in Ukraine, they must provide:
- a written explanation as to why the document(s) cannot be acquired, and
- provide evidence they have requested the document(s) from the individual or organization responsible for issuing the document or evidence the issuing body is not issuing documents due to conflict in Ukraine.
There are no changes to AAIP criteria. Ukrainian nationals must continue to meet program criteria to qualify for the program and be issued a nomination.
Ukrainian nationals must apply to the program using the application portal. Program officers will implement these measures when assessing applications.
Review Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s website for information on federal immigration measures for those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
February 16, 2022: AINP renamed
On February 16, 2022, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) was renamed to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). Two new streams were also launched – the Rural Renewal Stream and the Rural Entrepreneur Stream.
Several other changes were made to the program:
- The names of 3 entrepreneur streams changed:
- The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream is now the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
- The Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream is now the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.
- The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is now the Farm Stream.
- Candidates who submitted their application using our online portal and need a nomination extension must now submit the request in the portal.
Program eligibility criteria did not change for existing streams and pathways. All other post-decision processes are also unchanged. The new program and stream names will be updated in the portal in the coming weeks.
Review the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program for details.
- The names of 3 entrepreneur streams changed:
October 26, 2020: Launch of new pathways
The Government of Alberta is launching 2 new immigration pathways to encourage international graduates to open businesses here in Alberta that will create new high-paying jobs for Albertans and help diversify the economy.
Starting October 26, 2020, recent international graduates from Alberta’s universities and colleges interested in launching business ventures and start-ups in Alberta can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) under to the new Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. In January, Alberta will also launch the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream to attract talented international graduates from top U.S. universities and colleges to start businesses and settle in Alberta communities.
Details on the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream are available now. Information on the Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream will be posted to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) website later this year.
October 1, 2020: Online portal launch
New Alberta Advantage Immigration Program online portal
Starting October 1, 2020, all candidates (except Self-Employed Farmer Stream candidates) can apply online using the AAIP portal. Alberta Express Entry Stream candidates must receive authorization from the AAIP to access the portal.
The AAIP portal was designed to make the application for candidates easy. Candidates receive tips on how to enter data, a customized list of documents and can save a draft application to complete at a later date. The system does an initial assessment on eligibility, and ensures that candidates who clearly do not meet basic criteria do not waste time and money submitting an application.
Check out the new AAIP Portal.
All applications submitted using the AAIP online portal on or after October 1, 2020, are subject to a $500 processing fee. The application fee is non-refundable once an application has been submitted. The fee covers the cost of processing the application and is required whether a nomination certificate is issued or not.
Alberta Opportunity and Express Entry streams
The introduction of an application fee has changed the process for applying to the Farm Stream. Candidates submitting to this stream by mail on or before October 1, 2020, do not have to pay the processing fee. Applications mailed after October 1, 2020, must pay the fee.
All requests for post-decision services must now be emailed.
The AAIP is now charging a fee for post-decision services, including requests for reconsideration, nomination extensions and nominee requests for 204(c) Letters of Support. All fees are paid online.
Requests for services emailed on or after October 1, 2020, including requests for reconsideration, nomination extensions and nominee requests for 204(c) Letters of Support, are subject to a $100 service fee.
204(c) Letters of Support will no longer be issued with a nomination and must be requested by the nominee. Nominees who have a written request from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a 204(c) Letter of Support do not need to pay the service fee.
The fee covers the cost of processing your request and is required even if it is determined you are not eligible to have your decision reconsidered or that you are not eligible to receive a nomination extension or 204(c) Letter of Support. Refunds will only be provided for requests for reconsideration where the original decision to decline an application is overturned. All other service fees are non-refundable.
For more information on application and post-decision services fees, see the 'Eligibility', 'How to apply' and 'After you are nominated' sections for each AAIP stream.
Changes to COVID-19 measures
We have made some changes to several of our temporary COVID-19 application and processing adjustments. For more information, see Changes due to COVID-19.
Application updates now submitted by email
All candidates, including those who applied by mail, will send their application updates by email. This includes informing the AAIP about:
- corrections or updates to information or documents in an application
- updates to employment status, immigration status, contact information, family composition
- updates to use of a third party representative
- application withdrawal
For more information, see the 'How to apply' and 'After you are nominated' sections for each AAIP stream.
April 29, 2020: Temporary adjustments
The AAIP continues to accept and process applications, with temporary adjustments to some application and assessment processes.
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